Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10
884 Views

Hi has anyone had this issue. Am I over-reacting? Would you cancel this booking for tomorrow? Sorry so long...

 

I had a guest enquire Tuesday night for Friday. I was dealing with the grocery order that finally turned up after it took a two day tour of Britain and was conscious of the eminent  lockdown so maybe my judgement was flawed?  He has been a member since 2019 and doesn't have any reviews. I accepted, because his situation didn't sound any different to any of the other people with no reviews in urgent need of temporary accommodation who have contacted me, but he actually sounded more reasonable and less pushy... Due to COVID I have had 6 other guests enquire about long term stay just this month - a huge number for me. Most don't have any reviews, and all have had a ton of questions and requirements as if they are buying the place - as well as having had other irregularities like they have animals and want to stop by first to 'discuss things' (ie they want a discount on the already bargain long-stay price). As he seemed less demanding, and the lockdown was about to start, I agreed.

 

SO: The booking comes through and all it has is two initials for the name! Has anyone had this and thought it was okay? The full name is never anywhere except on the paid booking confirmation in all my bookings so far, so I wasn't worried that his original message just had an first initial. (He also signed off with a first name in the inox correspondence.) Up to him if he wants to remain discreet with his public profile. I honestly didn't think this was possible to carry through a booking with just initials.

 

I text him in a nice way putting it down to a glitch in the system and asking him to "help me out" by asking Airbnb to fix the booking with his full name. No response. I contacted Airbnb Customer Service for the second time again this morning. I get the usual friendly, canned assurances: 'rest assured Airbnb is here to help and takes your security with utmost seriousness' etc. But I still don't have a full name on the booking. How can they take our security seriously if they haven't matched a name on his profile to the government ID they checked? I am not even sure if they have a copy of the ID at this point.

 

Am I just being pedantic?

 

The first agent I spoke to yesterday phoned me back to say he couldn't give me the guests name for privacy reasons!! And something to the effect: that he couldn't just call the guest out of the blue and ask him to change his profile to include his name. What??! 

 

After the second customer service agent got involved and phoned the guest, the guest finally responded and messaged me their name and the other guest's name. However, this name still does not match with the name on the booking confirmation, which just has two initials. I messaged Airbnb back again asking them to at least confirm that the name the guest gave me matches what is on the supposed government ID they verified. I got the same polite response that I should rest assured that they take my security seriously. However they did not confirm that the name matched. I assume this is down to more data protection!

 

Like many hosts I well know that I could have their full real name (and even a copy of their passport) and they could still be a terrible or dangerous guest.  I just feel like if they either aren't willing to (or cannot be bothered to) give such basic information as their full name (and have to be asked and then phoned by customer service over two days) it is worrying. It is also worrying that Airbnb verified and allowed someone to book with only giving initials.

 

I don't need this. I work fulltime +overtime and it is a madhouse over here with the latest lockdown. I just had a guest who stayed 3 months leave, so (although they were a nice guest) there is a large amount of cleaning to do. Brand new washer not working. Spent my two days off waiting and on the phone with the grocery store, trying to find out where my grocery delivery was and then 70% of it either didn't arrive or was changed, so I had to re-order. Spent the rest of the time dealing with this.

 

I am conscious that being stressed maybe has caused me to be irrational. I mean it is still a big risk to rent to people regardless.

 

Would you cancel?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Tatyana5 I've had a few book with initials, also a 'David David' and a 'Scaff Older' and they were fine! (But I'm home share, so less of a risk to property!) 

 

Why don't you ask to see their passport on arrival and request their full name beforehand, then google to see if any reports of crime come up? Check them out on fb, Linkedin? 

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25 Replies

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Tatyana5 I've had a few book with initials, also a 'David David' and a 'Scaff Older' and they were fine! (But I'm home share, so less of a risk to property!) 

 

Why don't you ask to see their passport on arrival and request their full name beforehand, then google to see if any reports of crime come up? Check them out on fb, Linkedin? 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

Thank you Helen,

That actually helps a lot with helping me to see things differently.

 

To me it is a big red flag that they don't give their name and when asked nicely, they didn't bother to answer for two days until customer service got involved. And it was a further red flag when I asked to see their ID when they arrived they said they did not see why they had to! If it were me I would just say sorry and show the ID, it isn't a lot to ask when you are staying at someone's home.

 

I just spoke to a male who isn't very communicative and they didn't think it was a problem at all either and thought I was worrying for nothing. It does help to see it in a different light.

 

xx

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

I would firstly understand why he is in need of temporary accommodation to make sure you are allowed to host him @Tatyana5 


Is he moving to your area for work? If so I ask the guest to provide evidence of their work contract.

 

you can call the guest if they don't respond to messages through Airbnb but always follow up on the platform to confirm your discussion. 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

He gave a plausible reason and didn't seem like these other guests who ask 10 questions like they are buying the place and then also expect a discount above the 50% they are already getting. That's why I agreed even though he doesn't have any reviews.

 

Just the attitude and made me feel if he isn't willing to give his full name (especially as he has no where else to go) and expects to stay at my home and then gets a bit indignant about it when asked politely, instead of just understanding and agreeing. It is just weird.

 

 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

Thanks Helen

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Tatyana5  I wouldn't host him.  It isn't so much the issue of not having his name on his profile at the first, but of not responding to your questions [rude], and also not wanting to show ID to you to ensure that he is who he says he is.  Unless you really need this booking financially, I would ask Airbnb for a neutral cancellation because the guest makes you uncomfortable, even unsafe.   I would reason that if the guest is causing all this extra work and problems before even arriving, that is a sign the booking has high chance of also being problematic.

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

Thanks for the reply Mark. you have summed up what I felt. If someone isn't willing to give something so small, what are they hiding and what else will they do? When they finally responded today after the 2nd agent phoned them they were like: "Sure I'll tell you my name." But that name still wasn't the name on the profile and I felt more than uncomfortable at that point.

 

On top of this, when I tried to smooth things over and asked them if they would show me the ID when they arrived, they were like "Why? I already showed it to Airbnb." and they even sent a further message arguing they had never had the problem of anyone questioning them before and that they would call Airbnb about the matter. 

 

Well I have never had anyone book who didn't give a first and last name which (only taking verified guests) I always assumed matched what was on their government ID.

 

It is more the attitude. And then to make matters worse, he said he hadn't had the problem before. So none of the hosts who have apparently hosted him have given him reviews. I thought he had just never booked before. I have had loads of people stuck in the country due to COVID, or selling houses and stuck in between homes and most have been new members. So he kind of shot himself in the foot.

 

I was about to decline but he totally changed his tune (I suspect it was the other guest speaking for him) . I don't want to have trouble with Airbnb changing their promise to allow us out of bookings without penalty as they have now agreed to my requirements. Also he would have received my address and they will be desperate with the lockdown in force. I just don't want an even worse situation to arise. 

 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Tatyana5  Just as an aside, it happened to us once, the guest's full name never appeared even on the reservation itself, it was first name and an initial.  We thought it was an Airbnb glitch, but they told us, no, the guest doesn't have to have their full name anywhere if they don't want to.  LOL, that was news to us. 

 

However, when we contacted the guest and stated that we would need to see ID upon arrival, the guest was fine with it.  This was pre covid so we were still greeting guests personally, and when their party arrived, showed the ID, no problem and the other guests also offered to show ID...and this person turned out to be lovely.  BUT, as soon as we brought up the issue of ID, the guest was completely understanding and cooperative, unlike your guest.

 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

News to me as well, Mark! And then when they brought out privacy rules I almost choked. So he is staying at my house, but I don't have the right to his name because of his privacy?? 

 

I would have behaved the same as your guests. I would have just offered my ID straight away. (And I would have apologised for not answering the first request... especially if, like him, I couldn't get another booking and needed a place to stay and a broadband connection for work.)

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Tatyana5  Re "Why? I already showed it to Airbnb." Most guests don't know that Airbnb shares nothing with the host. A guest or two has gotten confused or slightly impatient with me asking for info they've already shared with Airbnb, so I just explain that. They are usually understanding and pretty incredulous over how in the dark Airbnb keeps hosts.

 

Re "So none of the hosts who have apparently hosted him have given him reviews". This could be something to be wary of. Many hosts will elect to just not review a guest who has been trouble of some sort. Add up all the elements to this story, and I think you should proceed cautiously with this one, or reconsider having Airbnb cancel. 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

Yeah, I am kind of worried adding everything up, Colleen. 😕 A horrific guest (thank the Universe I've only had one) I would write a truthful bad review. With a not-so-great or quite bad guest I either write something factual like a confirmation of the date they stayed  – in hopes any prospective hosts will read between the lines–  or I just don't leave anything, in the case where I was kind of baffled by their behaviour. I've written a few factual ones and only have totally declined only so far.

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

To be honest I'm not accepting anyone who doesn't provide written confirmation that they meet the 'exceptions' legislation for allowing guests to stay under Covid.

 

it doesn't appear your guest has actually confirmed how he meets one of the exceptions for staying let alone given you anything in writing to confirm this.

 

on that basis alone I would be asking Airbnb to cancel. Please don't feel pressured into accepting him just because he has your address @Tatyana5 

 

And please don't expect hosts to have to 'try and read between the lines' in your reviews - just confirming dates a guest stayed gives me no indication that your guest is one who broke your house rules or was one you wouldn't recommend 

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

Thanks for that Helen. Honestly, I do worry about some crazy or creepy person having my address (you know: the type who feels no one should have their full name... either because they have done bad stuff, or because they have delusions of being some sort 'special agent' or just because they do not have a normal understanding of how to behave).

 

I did think either not leaving a review or just being a factual:  "John and Jane stayed at my house in August," was a discreet red flag to other hosts (along with also choosing "no" you wouldn't have them back and not-so-great numeric ratings) 🤔  I will consider changing that approach.

 

xx

Re: Guest has been allowed to book without giving their name

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Tatyana5 Airbnb doesn’t have any requirements for what guests show on their public profiles. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the guest’s name, on their end. You can require guests to have verified ID if you wish, to be able to book with you. You’re right, it’s  certainly no guarantee of a good guest, but it doesn’t hurt to require it. And you can, as you did, ask the guest to give you their name, and show ID at check in.  How they respond is very telling. I agree with Mark. The way this guest is responding is suspect and if making you uncomfortable, ask Airbnb to cancel on that count, neutrally without penalties to you. 

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